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Miscellaneous / Prince
« Last post by Chip Donaho on April 21, 2016, 12:02 PM »
They just found Prince dead at Paisley Park.     :(
General Board / Re: Trois Pièces pour les Percussions
« Last post by Bart Elliott on April 17, 2016, 04:20 PM »
I am, unfortunately, not familiar with this piece.

Good luck with your research and performance.
General Board / Trois Pièces pour les Percussions
« Last post by Robin Binon on April 17, 2016, 03:05 PM »
My name is Robin Binon, I’m a studying percussion at Lemmens Institute and I’m in my 3rd year. For my bachelor year I’m writing a dissertation. This dissertation is about the piece Trois Pieces Pour Les Percussions of Alain Bernaud, which I’m also playing on my final exam, and in particularly the different difficulties of playing this piece. For this I’m doing a survey about these difficulties. Therefore I’m wondering if someone played this piece and want to compleet this survey. (You would be a hero!!!)
-       What passages did you find difficult to practice?
-   Which of these passages took the longest to get perfect?
-   What did you think of this work? Above/under level, or just achievable to play?
-   Was the interaction with the accompaniment difficult?
-   Was the notation clear?
-   E.g.: In the second part with the set-up, the percussion-part is written on three staves: did you find this difficult to read?
-   Which techniques did you find difficult? E.g.: snare techniques, timpani techniques, …

General Board / Re: I'm New Here ... (introduce yourself)
« Last post by Dreamwave8 on April 17, 2016, 02:11 PM »
Hi all. I'm new here and a percussive arts aficionado  :P as you all are as well. I found this forum by accident and glad to be here. I hope to gain more knowledge and others' insights into our exciting world. There's always more to learn.
I am concerned that if you soak the skins they may loose their shape to the point that they no longer want to wrap around the flesh hoop. It is up to you, but that is my concern for you since you've not done this before.

You could try soaking the head area that rests on the bearing edge. Perhaps take the head off the drum, turn the head upside down and lay it in a shallow bowl of water. Don't soak the area that wraps around the flesh hoop (metal ring) so the shape is retained. Try soaking for an hour then check on it. Cheap skin heads can deteriorate if soaked too long so go in one hour increments.

There should be resonance (ie. ringing) on a conga drum; it's not a dull thud. Just want to make sure that you are not misunderstanding the correct, un-miked sound.
Hello and thank you for taking the time to post such a comprehensive reply!

This does give me something to go on.

I realised last night that when I removed the skins and the metal rings that I did not make sure these went back on the same way they came off. I spent a bit of time trying to see if I could work out where both thes elements seemed to fit best but it wasn;t obvious. I noticed that the metal rim is actually a bit egg shaped, as is the drum so could see which way these two came together but the skin doesn't seem to sit that flat to the drum wherever I rotate it. The top of the drum edge does not look to be very level.

I tried working some pure lanolin oil into the skins last night and also messed around with some gel pads on the skins. The gel pads seemd to help. The ringing seems to be mainly the skin rather than the drum shell. If I damp the shell it helps a little but seems to begin to take away more of the bottom end rather than the high pitched sustain and ring which is left.

Would it be an idea to soak the skins in water (or a heavy dose of lanolin oil?) and seat them while wet with a little tension?

I noticed that getting the same tension on all lugs of the smaller drum results in the pitch being quite far out and sharp to the others, I guess this means the skin is poorly seated.

I will have a look at the skins and the hoop. I didn;t take much notice of this element when I was trying out different things.

Thanks again.
I would recommend that you do some searching on the forum here at the Drummer Cafe. I'm fairly certain that we've discussed this in the past.

In short, any of the items you mentioned can work; the specifics are up to you and your budget. I've done everything from computers/software, ADAT, DAT, CDs and iPods.

What you want to look for is something that not only will allow you to play stereo or multi-track mix, but that has a clean feed (send). Often times low-budget playback devices can be noisy... and you don't want that in the mix, so check for that.

If you are only using a stereo mix, you have a lot of options. If you need more control or have more than a stereo mix, such as a stereo mix plus a click-track, for example, you have narrowed down what you'll need to accomplish the task.

I would use what you have handy, as long as the sound is clean and high-quality.

If you have a more specific question, such as a particular configuration, etc., then we should definitely discuss that further.

Hope this helps.
I understand your issue and you are not the first to have the problems with the LP Aspire congas. They are what they are, but here are a few things you can do to perhaps bring them up in quality.

I don't know if they are still doing this or not, but these drums used to have VERY cheap heads. The skins were not tucked like traditional conga heads, but rather wrapped once over the flesh hoop then stitched with thread to hold them in place. Not good. It sounds like this may be your issue if the heads keep going out of tune so quickly. Turn the drums upside down and look at the flesh hoop ... the metal ring that the skin  is wrapped around. Does it look good?

Also, the bearing edge, that is the part of the wood where the head touches the drum, often times needs attention. Again, because these are inexpensive drums, the workmanship is not the same as the more expensive drums. The bearing edge should be smooth and even/true all around the diameter of the drum. It may need some sanding by someone who knows what they are doing.

The only other thing that could be causing the tuning to go out is if the tension rods are slipping. While any drum will loosen over time, it shouldn't be doing this as quickly as you are suggesting.

If possible, you might want to get a synthetic head for these drums ... if you can find them. Remo could probably custom make them for you; they used to do that. I had a drum shop back in the late 80s and had issues with the LP Aspire congas, and finding replacement heads for them, back then.

So, if the bearing edges are good, and you want to keep the drums, replacing the conga heads is a smart thing to consider.

You need to know that any time your remove the head, you need to place it back the exact same way. The head conforms to the bearing edge, so if you don't place it back the same way, it won't seat properly, and you will get funky sounds and results. Traditionally a skin head would be soaked to soften it up and make it pliable. You then seat the head on the bearing edge, apply moderate tension and allow the head to drum, taking the form of the bearing edge of the drum. With modern, higher-end drums, the bearing edges are very true, and the high quality skin heads are made accordingly ... so soaking is typically not necessary.

Hope this helps.

Hello folks, newbie here,

I have been working with some second hand Lp Aspire Congas for about four months now with a view to overdubbing some parts on an album that I am working on and am really struggling to get a decent sound.

I appreciate that many consider these to be poor entry level instruments but I have heard some nice clips on youtube that suggest to me it is possible to get somenthing useable from them.

I have read lots of threads and watched lots of videos and of course I am still in the learning stage but the sound I am getting is really not helping.

Firstly the drums simply won't stay in tune and I seem to be spending countless hours getting closer to a reasonable tone and then losing it within the space of attempting one take lasting a few minutes. Is there anything that I could do to improve this? Perhaps the rims or the heads themselves are somehow damaged from the previous owner? Any advice here would be greatly welcome!

The ringing is the other issue, even worse as it falls out of tune where the ringing sounds quite unsettling and not at all that lovely dry tone and pop that I would associate with the instrument. Again I know that my technique will play a large part here but I think ther must be something wrong with the instrument also. I have tried different tunings and often start again by slackening the skin right off to try and get a nice tone.
I have also played with damping the skins and/or the shells, sometimes this helps but it seems to kill the better part of the sound oddly leaving the ringing.

Is it likely a lost cause? Is it worth changing the skins? I can't seem to find any clear information on possible  heads that would fit on the LP Aspire 10" and 11" other than the stock heads.

Last night I tried rubbing some pure Lanolin oil into the heads to see if this helps at all.

Thanks in advance for any help!


Wondering what people use to perform live with backing tracks on a budget? (ableton, laptop, iPad, mixers, iOS, interfaces)
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